Tannum youth camp wins child protection award
TROUBLED kids hear enough from adults about turning their lives around.
A Tannum Sands youth camp instead tries to find other young people they can look up to.
The team behind The Young People Making a Difference program runs camps for kids from Bundaberg to Moranbah.
On Thursday it won a Queensland Child Protection Week award for its work with youth participation.
"These kids don't need another mum or another schoolteacher. They listen to young people who they look up to," MAD president Shendal Taylor said.
"They learn pretty quickly that they aren't alone and they aren't the only ones with problems."
The program involved youth workers in Bundaberg, Mount Morgan and Dysart with the camps held at Tannum Sands.
Ms Taylor said she had seen the camps change kids' lives.
"You see them stop doing drugs, starting to stop break and entering, starting to go back to school, stop cutting. Start liking themselves," she said.
"They come to the camp and they feel safe in an environment where they're not judged and they find out they're not alone and they aren't the first to go through this."
Queensland Child Protection Week chair Lorraine Dupree said listening to young people was a vital part of child protection.
"Young People Making a Difference works extensively to ensure that young people have a voice and the skills and capacity to speak about issues that impact them.
"The mentoring processes and peer support offer excellent leadership skills and opportunities," she said
Ms Taylor said the award had thrilled the central Queensland team who put MAD together.
"It's such an honour and means so much to us. We do this in our spare time," she said.
"We're only a baby organisation, and in just three years to be recognised like this is just amazing."
- APN NEWSDESK